North Canton, Ohio

North Canton is an appealing, suburban community in northeastern Ohio. It can be a bit cold for some in winter, but it’s far enough south of Lake Erie that it doesn’t get plagued from the very heavy lake effect snows like areas further to the north. 

This Midwestern suburb offers its residents a good quality of life. The attractive, tree-lined streets have a wide variety of affordable, well-kept homes. North Canton is a close-knit community, where families often choose to live from one generation to the next. Schools in North Canton are excellent and crime is low. Nearby Canton has a lot to do, plus larger cities like Cleveland and Columbus are close enough for day or weekend trips. Cleveland is about a one hour drive north and Columbus is two hours to the southwest. Pittsburgh is only two hours away as well, so North Canton is in a very convenient crossroads.


Covered bridge in eastern Ohio

The Canton area has a large array of job opportunities in most industries. The city has no shortage of restaurant varieties, cafes, pubs, entertainment and local events. If you’re into fishing, swimming and water sports on America’s wonderful Great Lakes, Lake Erie beaches are only an hour away. It’s also nice to take a leisurely drive around the rolling, wooded hills that surround North Canton. The fall colors in eastern Ohio are magnificent. You can find local farm stands, beautiful parks, hiking trails and so much more. Ohio’s Amish Country is only about 40 miles southwest of North Canton.

If you’re seeking an affordable, friendly, Midwestern community with a lot going for it, put the very livable North Canton on your list!

North Canton stats:

Total Population: 17,400

Median home value: $143,900

July is the warmest month, with an average high temperature of 83 degrees.

January is the coldest month, with an average high temperature of 33 degrees.

Average annual rainfall: 39 inches

Average annual snowfall: 39 inches

Fun fact: The Pro Football Hall of Fame is only four miles from North Canton!


Carson City, Nevada

What’s the only state capital to make it into Top Locales so far? Answer: Carson City, Nevada! This picturesque western city is only minutes from gorgeous mountains, horseback rides in the desert, and the breathtaking beauty of Lake Tahoe. Nearby Reno, the “biggest little city in America”, offers lots of entertainment. If you’re taking a trip somewhere or have friends or family flying in, Reno-Tahoe International Airport is only a 25 minute drive from Carson City.

Carson City may not be the first place one may think of for raising a family, but it excels in that area as well. The city has great schools and low crime. The climate is healthy as well. At a high 4,802 ft above sea level, afternoon temperatures in summer aren’t too hot. The humidity is comfortably low. Planning a picnic or a softball game? Go for it, sunny Carson City only receives 9 inches of rain the entire year! The winters aren’t bad either, with high temperatures relatively mild in the 40’s.

Kit Carson monument

You’ll find a nice downtown in Carson City where you could meet and mingle with all your cool new neighbors. In terms of jobs, there are a good number of state government opportunities in town. Plus, the larger city of Reno has an even larger job market and is a fairly short commute by car. When it comes to outdoor activities, the Lake Tahoe area has premium ski resorts, swimming, water sports and scenic hikes, just to name a few. This is a very environmentally healthy part of the USA too, with protected forests and clean, crisp mountain air.

The Carson City area offers the best of the mountains, deserts, lakes, four easy seasons and sunshine all year long. The good life here is just waiting for you!

Carson City stats:

Total Population: 54,219

Median home value: $217,400

July is the warmest month, with an average high temperature of 88 degrees.

January is the coldest month, with an average high temperature of 45 degrees.

Average annual rainfall: 9 inches

Average annual snowfall: 17 inches

Fun facts: The largest silver discovery in world history was in 1859 at Comstock Lode, just outside Carson City. Carson City was also a stop along the famous Pony Express!

Stokesdale, North Carolina

This quiet town in northwestern North Carolina has grown tremendously over the past few decades. From 2000 to 2010, the population increased by 54 percent! However with a current population of only 5,331, it still has a small town feel.

Situated about equidistant between Winston-Salem and Greensboro, there are a good number of job opportunities within a fairly short commute. Winston-Salem is quickly become known as one of the artsier cities in North Carolina, so you’ll have arts and culture a short drive away. Schools in Stokesdale are excellent and many homes are spacious, new and reasonably-priced. Piedmont Triad International Airport is only a few miles from Stokesdale.

You might be thinking, North Carolina gets very hot and humid. While the summers are long, one plus about this part of the state is it’s less than a two hour drive to the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. In summer, towns like Boone and Banner Elk are about 15 degrees cooler than the Greensboro/Winston-Salem area due to the higher elevation. It’s much less humid in the NC mountains too! Lots of skiing in the area in winter as well. Great for a quick weekend getaway. If you’re seeking nearby water sports, Belews Lake is a large, popular lake right outside Stokesdale.

The rolling hills of western North Carolina

Winters are pretty short in Stokesdale, and the town receives an average of only six inches of snowfall annually. If places like California and Florida aren’t appealing to you because they don’t really have a change in seasons, this part of North Carolina strikes a nice balance between long summers and just a bit of a chill and snow in the winter. The only drawback is North Carolina and Virginia can be infamous for being right between the rain to the south and snow to the north during large winter storms…which means freezing rain and sleet. Not fun to travel in, but it’s not terribly common and some winters they don’t see that kind of precipitation at all.

Another cool thing about Stokesdale is you won’t have to worry about being one of the only people from out-of-town. North Carolina has become a huge magnet for people from places like New York City and Washington DC seeking a lower cost-of-living. I have friends that moved from the NYC area to the Raleigh area many years ago, and were constantly running into people who also moved there from the Northeast. As a result, they never really felt alienated and adjusted to their new home quite well. Stokesdale could very well have the low cost-of-living, inexpensive homes, great schools and quiet lifestyle that is just right for you too!

Stokesdale stats:

Total Population: 5,331

Median home value: $189,600

July is the warmest month, with an average high temperature of 88 degrees.

January is the coldest month, with an average high temperature of 48 degrees.

Average annual rainfall: 44 inches

Average annual snowfall: 6 inches

Fun fact: The International Civil Rights Center and Museum in Greensboro is one of the most popular museums in North Carolina:…and check out it’s magnificent reviews on Trip Advisor!

Hanover Township, PA

Do you want to live in the northeastern US but find the suburbs have too high a cost-of-living? Take a look at Hanover Township, PA. Situated in the Allentown-Bethlehem area, it’s close to job opportunities, good schools, has low housing prices and low crime. It’s a very short drive to ski resorts, whitewater rafting, hiking/biking trails, casinos and modern family-oriented resorts. Philadelphia and historic Pennsylvania Dutch Country are close-by as well. Or drive just 90 minutes east and you have all that New York City has to offer! The Jersey Shore beaches are an easy weekend drive away as well.

[Sidebar: Pennsylvania has two townships named “Hanover”. This article is about the one outside Bethlehem, as stated above.]

Winters can be a bit cold and snowy some years but rarely brutal. Cold Canadian air masses in winter are modified by both the Appalachian Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean by the time they reach eastern PA.

Hanover Township offers it’s residents a wonderful lifestyle, while truly being in the center of it all. Didn’t think you couldn’t afford the pricey Northeast? Think again, Hanover Township may be just for you!

Pennsylvania countryside

Hanover Township stats:

Total Population: 11,385

Median home value: $283,700

July is the warmest month, with an average high temperature of 84 degrees.

January is the coldest month, with an average high temperature of 38 degrees.

Average annual rainfall: 48 inches

Average annual snowfall: 35 inches

Fun Fact: The nearby city of Bethlehem comes alive around Christmas with miles of colorful lights and festive events. It will surely put you in the holiday spirit every year!

Glocester, Rhode Island

The southern New England hamlet of Glocester has a lot to offer. It’s about 20 miles west of Providence, which has undergone somewhat of a Renaissance over the past decade or two. Providence offers lots of jobs, has plenty of bars/restaurants/cafes, and now you can even go for a Venice-style gondola ride downtown! It’s a decent daily commute from Glocester as well.

Snowfall is a bit on the high side, but not too bad for New England. Beautiful ocean beaches are only about an hour’s drive away. Rhode Island embraces it’s proud maritime heritage, with plenty of quaint towns to visit along its seacoast. Boston and the Connecticut casinos are all close enough for a day trip from Glocester. This charming village also has very low crime, great schools and reasonable home prices. The wooded countryside around Glocester is picturesque with small lakes and farms.

If you want a little bit of everything that New England has to offer, check out gorgeous Glocester, RI!

Atlantic coast in Point Judith, RI

Glocester stats:

Total Population: 9,993

Median home value: $265,700

July is the warmest month, with an average high temperature of 81 degrees.

January is the coldest month, with an average high temperature of 35 degrees.

Average annual rainfall: 50 inches

Average annual snowfall: 57 inches

Fun fact: Glocester was recently rated as one of the top 100 safest places in America!

Virginia Beach, Virginia

If a major city makes it onto a list like this, it must be pretty special. Virginia Beach is such a place.

Most major American cities have numerous sections with high crime and poorly-rated school systems. Virginia Beach is low on crime in all major categories. It is one of the safest cities of its size in America. Most of it’s public schools score better than even some of the most desirable suburbs across the country.

Virginia Beach has over 450,000 people, so you can find plenty of the amenities a large city has to offer: arts/entertainment, sports teams, restaurants, bars and exciting events year-round. It’s also part of the larger Tidewater metro region in southeastern Virginia, containing Norfolk and Newport News. So if you don’t find something right in Virginia Beach, chances are you’ll find it close by. Being in a populated area also offers many job opportunities.

Spacious ocean beaches in Virginia Beach

However what really makes Virginia Beach really stand out are the miles and miles of beautiful, sandy, Atlantic beaches. The city takes great pride in it’s beaches, and they’re quite popular among tourists. Water temperatures get close to 80 degrees in August! Also, the geography of the coast here benefits Virginia Beach. Most of the hurricanes coming up from the south hit eastern North Carolina first, so they rarely are a major threat to the Tidewater area. The ocean breezes also prevent it from becoming quite as stiflingly hot and humid in summer as areas inland such as Richmond.

Weather in general is quite pleasant in Virginia Beach. Winters are mild, but there are still four distinct seasons. Summer is the longest season and winters are relatively short. This part of the east coast also gets lots of sunshine year-round.

Virginia Beach has a relatively low cost-of-living for a large city. The average home value is fairly low, around $267,000. With an above average household income of close to $71,000, most people could live quite comfortably in Virginia Beach. If you love both the city and the ocean, Virginia Beach could be the perfect place for you!

Virginia Beach stats:

Total Population: 450,435

Median home value: $267,300

July is the warmest month, with an average high temperature of 87 degrees.

January is the coldest month, with an average high temperature of 49 degrees.

Average annual rainfall: 45 inches

Average annual snowfall: 6 inches

Fun fact: The beautiful Virginia Beach waterfront contains a three mile long concrete boardwalk, open to both bicyclists and pedestrians. It’s one of the cleanest, most well-kept boardwalks you’ll find anywhere.

Kennedy Township, PA

Kennedy Township just about has it all. Great schools, low property taxes, low crime, job opportunities. The Pittsburgh area is attracting lots of tech companies these days, and has a diverse all-around economy to employ people in many industries. There isn’t much of a downtown in Kennedy Twp, but there is a large strip mall area in the center of town where much of the community congregates. UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside Hospital in Pittsburgh was recently ranked as one of the best hospitals in Pennsylvania.

The winter weather may be a bit of a drawback for some. Snowfall is above the annual average, and this is one of the cloudier parts of the country in winter. The rest of the year is quite nice however. Spring and fall are beautiful, and summers don’t get terribly hot. The beaches of Lake Erie are about a two hour drive and there are smaller lakes much closer.

Pittsburgh is very close by, with plenty of activities and events. The restaurants are incredible, the city has professional sports, scores high on the arts scene, and has lots of great pubs/bars.

Kennedy Township stats:

Total Population: 8,134

Average home value: $168,200

July is the warmest month, with an average high temperature of 83 degrees.

January is the coldest month, with an average high temperature of 36 degrees.

Average annual rainfall: 37 inches

Average annual snowfall: 31 inches

Fun fact: Looking for a church picnic? This is the #3 county in America with the most Catholic and Mainline Protestant congregations.

The impressive Pittsburgh skyline

Hilliard, Ohio

If you’re seeking midwestern Americana and a suburban lifestyle, you should highly consider Hilliard, OH. Situated just a few miles northwest of Columbus, Hilliard residents enjoy a very short daily commute downtown. The schools are highly-rated and property taxes are moderate. The City of Hilliard contains a combination of newly-built developments and charming houses built within the last 60 years or so. Crime is very low. Columbus has risen far above Cleveland and Cincinnati over the past few decades to be the largest city in Ohio. It’s a thriving city with a surprisingly fun college vibe in some areas for a city so large. Many top hospitals are within a short drive of Hilliard.

Columbus skyline

There are a number of lakes with swimming and boating in the Columbus area, mostly north and east of the city. The morning low temperatures can be quite cold in winter during Arctic blasts, but the frigid outbreaks don’t last nearly has long in Hilliard as they do in other parts of the Midwest (e.g. Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa). Snowfall isn’t terribly high. Summers are warm and humid, but not stifling. Spring can bring about thunderstorms, but Hilliard lies well east of Tornado Alley. Central Ohio in general is a great place to settle for the long haul, check it out!

Hilliard stats:

Total Population: 34,386

Median home value: $225,799

July is the warmest month, with an average high temperature of 86 degrees.

January is the coldest month, with an average high temperature of 37 degrees.

Average annual rainfall: 38 inches

Average annual snowfall: 22 inches

Fun fact: Hilliard has the only flag from the World Trade Center that is not in a museum. The flag is located in front of the fire department on Northwest Pkwy.

Edgewood, New Mexico

New Mexico is one of the country’s best kept secrets. The northern part of the state is particularly appealing, with four distinct seasons, lots of sunshine, low humidity and year-round outdoor activities. Edgewood is near it all, plus lots of job opportunities in nearby Albuquerque.

New Mexico in autumn

Edgewood is a small village with good schools, it’s a great place to raise a family. Seniors would benefit from the dry climate, although the area does receive some snow in winter. Keep in mind though, it’s that light powdery snow that falls in the western USA. A broom is often all that’s needed to clear your path of snow.

There aren’t many nearby large lakes in the area for beaches, swimming, etc, but northern New Mexico makes up for that in so many other ways. Within about an hour’s drive of Edgewood there are top notch ski resorts, beautiful mountains for hiking/biking, plus lots of events, restaurants and bars in both Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Some of the nation’s best art galleries can be found in historic Santa Fe. Speaking of history, Route 66 runs right through Edgewood!

Edgewood is a friendly small town in the sunny Southwest. It could be just for you!

Edgewood stats:

Total Population: 3,845

Median home value: $219,300

July is the warmest month, with an average high temperature of 86.

December is the coldest month, with an average high temperature of 44 degrees.

Average annual rainfall: 14 inches

Average annual snowfall: 25 inches

Fun fact: Edgewood is rated as one of the best place to by a house in the entire state of New Mexico!

Elk Grove, California

ElkGrove is a beautiful community. Lots of sunshine all year long, andit’s too warm for snow. However, unlike the California coast, thereare four seasons. You can even see the leaves change in the fall. Itcan get hot in the summer, but not brutal, and very little humidity.Elk Grove is a suburb of Sacramento, with lots of state jobs alongwith a healthy job market in the private sector. Plus the CentralValley of California is the the year-long fruit and vegetable marketfor much of the USA, so there are lots of opportunities related toagriculture.

State Capitol in Sacramento

Youmight be thinking, the earth shakes too much in California. This areais well east of the San Andreas Fault, so there is virtually noearthquake activity. It’s also half-way between San Francisco andLake Tahoe. The ocean is about a two hour drive west and skiing isabout a two hour drive to the east. Elk Grove has highly-ratedschools, much above the California state average. Property taxes arevery low and it’s a safe place to live.

Elk Grove is a very tolerant community as well, that scores high on diversity. It has a wide variety of restaurants. Downtown Sacramento is only fifteen miles away, with all the great things a large city has to offer. Old Sacramento has an Old West theme and is located right along the waterfront. The city also has lots of great museums, restaurants, parks, sporting events and the state fairgrounds are open all year long.

Elk Grove stats:

Total Population: 166,228

Median home value: $349,500

July is the warmest month, with an average high temperature of 92 degrees.

January is the coldest month, with an average high temperature of 54 degrees.

Average annual rainfall: 19 inches

Average annual snowfall: none

FunFact: Elk Grove is one of the top ten sunniest cities in the country!